Consultation on the temporary closure of land and core paths
The SSA has compiled this response following consultation with our Outdoor Pursuits Group, which contains representatives from 20 of our member Scottish Governing Bodies (SGBs) involved in outdoor and adventurous activities.
The SSA broadly supports the Modification Order.
We would, though, like to raise the following points:
- Where a core path is closed as a result of a wider areal closure, wherever possible alternative access should be provided, including the provision of adequate information and signage relating to this alternative. Where this is not possible, the applicant should state the reason(s) for this.
- A process should exist for consultation on areal closures to provide opportunities to support the gathering of input/consultation/comment/objection from required/interested/affected parties.
Where the event management is not able to provide a risk assessment to the local authority prior to consideration of closing core paths, the applicant should state the reason(s) for this.
- A recommended time limit should be set for which an application should be submitted to the local authority requesting consideration for a closure prior to the date of the requested closure. It is recognised that flexibility may be required in this regard, but that a recommended timeframe would set best practice to support the gathering of input/consultation/comment/objection from required/interested/affected parties.
Short Term Closures
- A process should exist for dealing with short term closures, as opposed to just longer term closures. It is appreciated that flexibility may be required in this regard, but any process should be proportional to the scale, impact and timeframe of the proposed closure. This process would include specified opportunities for consultation/comment from those which may be interested/affected by the proposed closure.
- Specific guidance should exist to support the potential charging of fees by local authorities for the allocation of Section 11 orders. This guidance should be proportional to the nature of the closure being implemented and should also state what such fees are entitled to cover – ie that these should be limited to a cost recovery exercise for the administrative time taken to process the application only and should not be a means of income generation.
Should you have any queries or if we can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.